With social media being what it is today, many entrepreneurs are discovering the power of online marketing through blogs and websites. The numbers prove it. In the first half of 2019 (H1 2019), nearly 47% of all US online searches were for image-related content. That’s a 13% increase from the previous year and a clear indication that consumers are using visuals to gather information.
If you’re looking to market your online business, you’ll most likely have heard of PPC (Pay-Per-Click Advertising), SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and Social Media Marketing (or SMM for short). While all of these strategies are still important, now is a good time to take a deeper dive into online marketing and how to effectively use blogs and websites to grow your business.
What is Blogging?
Blogging is simply writing on a regular basis about topics related to your industry. This could be anything from sharing interesting articles to providing tips on how to be more effective managers.
The beauty of blogging is that you have complete control over what you publish. This means you can include whatever factors you deem important in your posts. You can choose to write about what interests you the most or what you think your audience will value most. You can use this platform to grow your own business or to promote your products and services.
While SEO and Social Media Marketing are extremely important in today’s digital world, blogging is still one of the most effective platforms for increasing traffic to your site and boosting your SEO. In fact, SEO-optimized blogs can appear in the top three positions of a search engine’s results page, even if the site has little to no content.
Additionally, according to HubSpot Blogging Strategy Guide, 80% of consumers have read an article online that was either written by or accompanied with an image. Essentially, visuals are critical for capturing attention and encouraging action.
Why are Consumers Reading Blogs?
Consumers are doing their homework and conducting research online before buying a product or service. This is particularly important when purchasing a product or service via a mobile or laptop device. With so much information at their fingertips, consumers demand convenience and clarity.
According to HubSpot Blogging Strategy Guide, consumers are primarily reading blogs to ‘gain better understanding, to [find] answers, or to simply satisfy [their] curiosity’ about various topics. Essentially, they want to learn about a product or service before buying it. Because of this, many businesses fail to provide the information consumers are looking for simply due to lack of strategic thinking. Your blog can help to solve this problem.
How Can a Blog Help My Business?
The number of consumers who have opted out of traditional forms of advertising and have turned to blogs to find information and engage with businesses is increasing. In 2019 alone, 24% of consumers researched products or services online before buying a new appliance or household item. This is compared to 19% in 2018 and 17% in 2017.
These numbers highlight the growing importance of the blog in today’s digital world. However, despite the increase in digital searches, 65% of consumers report that they usually just skim websites’ content without thoroughly reading it. This means your blog can be used to encourage consumers to read relevant content, build trust, and establish credibility.
Additionally, 48% of millennials rely on blogs to learn about a product or service, as compared to only 14% of Gen-Xers and 12% of Baby Boomers. With such a large audience, targeted blogs can provide invaluable information about your industry.
How Can I Use a Blog to Grow My Business?
Based on the data discussed above, it’s clear that blogs can serve an important role in your marketing plan. Even if you already have a website, you can use the platform to establish yourself as an expert in your industry and prove to potential customers that you’re a trustworthy source of information.
To start, create a blog around a topic that is relevant to your industry. You can include multiple platforms, such as WordPress, to ensure that your content reaches as many readers as possible. Remember: the more engaged your audience is, the more likely they are to buy from you.
Additionally, establish yourself as an authoritative source of information on your chosen topic by including references from scholarly articles as well as presenting your opinions as fact.
This will help to build your brand and authority in your industry. When people or search engines come across your blog, they will see you as an expert in your field. This is extremely important because it means you’ll be able to get more work done or get your product or service seen by more people. In the case of Bluehost, for example, establishing yourself as an expert in e-commerce means you’ll be able to sell affiliate products and grow your business.
How Can I Use a Blog to Generate Leads For My Business?
While you’re busy establishing yourself as an expert in your industry, you should also be working to generate leads for your business. According to HubSpot Blogging Strategy Guide, 48% of consumers say they’ve contacted a business directly because they found the information they were looking for on a blog. In another example, SEO-optimized blogs can appear in the top three positions of a search engine’s results page, even if the site has little to no content.
Therefore, if you’re looking to grow your business, you should be thinking about how you can take advantage of the blog platform. You can use blogs to establish yourself as an expert in your industry, drive traffic to your website, and generate leads. This is why most entrepreneurs and marketers opt to establish blogs as part of their digital marketing strategy.
However, you must be smart about how you use your blog. Establishing a blog around a hot topic will undoubtedly attract interest and drive traffic to your site. However, if you don’t have an engaging blog post that will keep your reader interested, they will simply click away. You should use blogs to express your opinion on relevant topics and establish your expertise. When used effectively, blogs can provide a valuable source of information for your business and allow you to generate leads.
As you might imagine, marketing a business online can be massively challenging. You’ll most likely have heard of PPC (Pay-Per-Click Advertising), SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and Social Media Marketing (or SMM for short). While all of these strategies are still important, now is a good time to take a deeper dive into online marketing and how to effectively use blogs and websites to grow your business.